#letthecultureshine: The Idea of the Brain – with Professor Matthew Cobb


4 South West Farms to experience: Boxes and Beyond…

PHOTO CREDIT: Gothelney Farm buildings. Image via Gothelney Farm.

Relax in the tranquility of the UK's countryside and try a new cheese or wine at the same time...

A proper farm is a wonderful thing. It’s a place where we can retreat to childhood memories and stories, reconnect with nature and gain a more intimate connection with our food. The South West is famous for its rolling hills, it’s produce, it’s dairy, community farms and allotments; all integral to a culture of celebrating good food and drink.
Beyond food; many farms have diversified; offering accommodation, tours, events and even festivals on their green pastures (Glastonbury, I’m looking at you). Take in the sights, smells and experiences of the best of the South West’s farms…

1 The Community Farm 

Photograph is authors own. View of the Roundhouse and Chew Valley Lake.

A few minutes stroll from Chew Valley LakeThe Community Farm does all that it’s sociable name suggests. Bristling with enthusiasm for all things green and grassroots, the farm offers organic and seasonal fruit and veg boxes, as well as a volunteer program for those that want to connect further with the produce. The farm is a stunning site surrounded not only by nature but also housing the locally renowned Valley Fest on one of its spare fields. 
Head over to Michelin chef Josh Eggleton’s Salt & Malt at the lake if you have time for some excellent yet casual fish and chips…
Order a box here, book the Roundhouse for events here and volunteer here.  
Address: The Community Farm, Denny Lane, Chew Magna, BS40 8SZ

2 Gothelney Farm 

Gothelney farm in all of its glory. Photo from Gothelney Farm

Gothelney Farm is set at the base of the Quantock Hills in Somerset. Amongst a gathering group of farms that practice regenerative techniques (improving the soil over time, not depleting it) farmer Fred Price produces high quality pork and a variety of heritage grains. Sample Gothelney pork at Rye Bakery (Frome), Westcome Dairy (Shepton Mallett), Kiln & Smoking Goat (London). Delicious.
Beyond the fields and food, the farm also offers Airbnb accommodation in the charmingly restored Stableblock. A perfect place to escape this crazy year for a few days…

Book accommodation here and order a meat box here.
Address: Gothelney Hall, Charlynch Rd, Bridgwater TA5 2PQ

3 Home Farm’s Quickes Cheese 

Some handsome cheese. Image via Quickes website.
 Exeter’s Home Farm is a mecca for all things cheese. Led by the legacy of John Quickes, the farm makes cheese the old school way, allowing time to do the hard work of maturing and deepening the flavours. Quickes makes a variety of cheeses from cloth-bound goats milk cheese, some stunning cheddars and a mixed milk cheese title Lady Prue. If tasting leaves you wanting more, you can join the newsletter to hear about future cheese tours once they become available…  
Visit the reputed Belluno restaurant (10-minute walk from the farmshop) if all this cheese has got you tasting for an Italian…
Order cheese here, visit the shop here and when events reopen, book here
Address: Home Farm, Newton St Cyres, Exeter, EX5 5AY
4 English Oak Vineyard (link)
Photo via English Oak Vineyard Instagram
It’s often discussed that with global warming, the south of England will become more suitable for wine production. Whilst I’m not sure on the details, English Oak Vineyard certainly proves the point. Planted out in 2007 in Dorset’s idyllic countryside, the vineyard sells a range of sparkling bottles online: perfect for special occasions. Award-winning Engelmann Cuvee pairs perfectly with cheese combine with Quickes cheddar for a smorgasbord of South West deliciousness… 
In addition to the online shop, the vineyard offers tours (£20.00) which will take you through the journey and terroir of your bottle.   
Purchase wine here, book a voucher for a vineyard tour here
Address: Flowers Drove, Lytchett Matravers, Poole BH16 6BX